Ever since I was a young boy I’ve played the silver ball. From Soho down to Brighton, I must have played them all. But I ain’t seen nothing like him in any amusement hall. That deaf, dumb and blind kid, Sure plays a mean pinball!
It is 46 years ago that the rock opera, Tommy was released, one of the first attempts at treating rock as an art form. The artists were The Who.
It’s a double album telling a loose story about a “deaf, dumb and blind kid”, Tommy was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. Released in 1969, the album was mostly composed by Pete Townshend. In 1998, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for historical, artistic and significant value.
An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townshend’s exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on “My Generation” and “Out in the Street”; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)
From the opening minor chords to the upward key change near the end, ‘Pinball’ is a rock tour-de-force, brimful of ideas, powerchords, great lyrics and tight ensemble playing.
~From “The Who – The Complete Guide To Their Music” (Charlesworth & Hanel)
Today we celebrate one of The Who’s best songs – Pinball Wizard.